Arguments adjourned in Watson’s dismissal hearing

| 22/12/2014

(CNS): A dismissal application made by Canover Watson to argue that criminal charges against him should be dropped was adjourned Monday after his attorney told the court that he needed more time. Ben Tonner, from Samson & McGrath, told the court that it was "an unrealistic timeframe to work towards” to prepare the arguments for the case to be thrown out. At the end of last month Tonner said that a lack of evidence to support the charges of money laundering and corruption had led to the application, which is now likely to take place in February. Watson has not yet answered the charges in court but has denied all the allegations, describing them as “baseless”.

A trial date has already been set for next May if the dismissal argument fails. The court heard that if it goes ahead the trial would be likely to last three weeks.

Watson currently faces ten charges that all relate to a more than $11 million contract for a card payment system at the government hospital. The contract was awarded when Watson was chair of the Health Services Authority Board.

The full details of the charges have not yet been revealed and Tonner told the court during his client’s first Grand Court appearance at the end of November that he had not been served with any indictment or with the evidence in support of the allegations. But as a result of the charges laid against him, his liberty had been “restricted and his reputation unjustly tarnished”. 

Watson, a local businessman and Young Caymanian Leadership Award recipient, was also a FIFA official sitting on the world football body’s audit committee. However, following the charges he was suspended from that role.

Category: Crime

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